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10 SBCs that are more powerful than Raspberry Pi

05 Nov 2014  | Cabe Atwell

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Editor's Note: Cabe Atwell assembles some single-board computers outfitted with more RAM than the famous Raspbery Pi that are now available in the market.

More single-board computer (SBC) manufacturers are popping up on the market every year, bringing in tow myriad options. Some of the newer SBCs to hit the market are certainly impressive, given their respective price points, multi-core CPUs and gigabytes worth of RAM that rival some tablets and smartphones. That onboard memory is key in taking SBCs out of the embedded world and into mainstream usage. Gone are the days of blinking lights and command lines. Only through RAM can desktop-level software come to the embedded development world.

For your entertainment purposes, below is a compiled roundup of just a few SBCs outfitted with more RAM that are currently on the market. The "Kleenex" of SBCs, the Raspberry Pi B/B+, was the baseline metric for RAM. Anything beyond that made the list. Even though the Raspberry Pi is first in popularity, it's hardly the most powerful board out there.


Odroid-U3

Odroid-U3

The Odroid-U3 features a 4-core processor and 2GB of onboard RAM. (Source: hardkernel.com)

First up on the list is HardKernel's Odroid-U3, which is similar in size to the Raspberry Pi but more powerful than the popular Pi board. Don't let its small size fool you—it packs an Exynos4412 Prime quad-core processor running at 1.7GHz and a whopping 2GB of RAM. It also features three high-speed USB 2.0 ports, a host of GPIO/UART/I2C connection options and onboard audio codec with earphone jack. Of course, being a Linux-based board, users can run both XUbuntu 13.10 and Android 4.X, depending on their needs.


CubieTruck

Cubieboard 3

Cubieboard's CubiTruck (Cubieboard 3) packs some impressive hardware, including 2GB of DDR3 memory. (Source: Cubieboard Wiki)

Cubieboard's offering is similar to the Odroid-U3. However, it has a slower processor with an ARM Cortex-A7 dual-core running at 1GHz. That said, it packs faster RAM with 2GB of DDR3 humming along at 480MHz. Impressive? Sure, but it also features a Mali-400 MP2 GPU, 8GB of onboard NAND flash, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections (with PCB antenna). An interesting feature with the CubieTruck is the fact that you can connect an external 3.5in hard-drive using a SATA cable and a 3.5in add-on package, which is actually just a 12V to 5V sub-board.


Hackberry A10 Dev Board

Hackberry A10

Miniand's Hackberry A10 Dev Board can pump out 1080p video through the HDMI port. (Sources: miniand.com, geek.com)

Miniand's Hackberry A10 Dev Board is yet another SBC that ups the ante with more onboard RAM. In this case, 1GB (DDR3) of it with 100MB dedicated to the Mali-400 GPU, which lets users play most any HD media piped out through the board's HDMI port. It features 4GB of NAND storage, but what makes it shine is an SDHC card slot letting users slap in an SD card (up to 32GB) for additional storage options. There are also two USB 2.0 ports, 4pin serial port header, and 3.55mm composite analogue video support.


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